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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

the special qualities of public figures who come from the small towns of America, from places like Aberdeen, Kansas, or Libertyville, Illinois. This idea, that a man's location in space is more likely to shape his moral character than his education, his occupation, or even his religious affiliation, though statistically unverified, is a belief widely shared in almost all societies, including, and perhaps especially, those societies which are densely populated.
Density and Central Government. Clearly, the size of a country and its population creates both problems and opportunities. It is, first of all, well to remember that although the density of some European states in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was high, the size of the states by modern standards was quite small. The population of England and Wales in the first census of 1801 was under 9 million, about that of Rhodesia and somewhat less than that of contemporary Ceylon, Nepal, Tanzania, Taiwan, or Peru. In 1800, the Netherlands had 2.1 million people, the same as contemporary Dahomey or Honduras. Italy had 17.2 million people in the early part of the 19th century and was therefore slightly smaller than Ethiopia was in 1962 with 20 million people. France, then the most populated and most powerful country in western Europe, had 28.3 million people, slightly more than contemporary U.A.R. with 27.2 million and slightly less than Turkey, which has 29.2 million. By today's standards, most European states in the beginning of the 19th century were quite tiny: Denmark had 983,000, Finland 830,000, Norway 880,000, Netherlands 2.1 million, Sweden 2.3 million, and Portugal 2.9 million. In population, these states compare with contemporary Chad with 2.7 million, Guinea with 3.2 million, and Niger with 3.1 million.*
Compared to the European states of the early part of the 19th century, many of the developing countries today are extraordinary giants. There are five countries each with populations larger than all of western Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. India has over 500 million people, China around 700 million, and there are two countries with approximately 100 million people each, Pakistan and Indonesia. A fifth country, Brazil, has a population of 80 million and is estimated to pass the 100 million mark sometime in the late 1970's. Few governments in the developed world have ever had to govern populations the size of any of these five giants in the developing world. Even Russia, with its formidable problems of governance,
*How much more important the skills and motivations of their populations were in the economic growth of these small European states than population size, density, or the availability of local resources is indicated by the role which European migrants from these countries played in the development of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Rhodesia. The development of a small piece of the Middle East by Jewish migrants from Europe provides further support for the argument that skills and motivation are primary, and local resources and population density arc relatively less important.
See also Harvey Leibcnstein, "The Impact of Population Growth on Economic WelfareŚNontraditional Elements," in this volume.